SECURITY HITCHES

Lamu-Garsen Road eight months behind schedule

Security challenges by al-Shabaab push deadline from December to August next year

In Summary

• The 135km Lamu-Garsen road is behind completion schedule by eight months

• Kenha chairman Erastus Mwongera blames al Shabaab for the slow pace

The Sh.10.8 Lamu-Garsen Road
UPGRADING PROJECT: The Sh.10.8 Lamu-Garsen Road
Image: CHETI PRAXIDES

The 135km Lamu-Garsen road is behind completion schedule by eight months, according to the Kenya National Highways Authority.

The road, expected to cost Sh10.8 billion, was projected to be ready by December 31, but this will not be possible before August next year due to insecurity, Kenha says. 

The constructors are H-Young East Africa Limited and GIBB Africa Limited. 

Kenha chairman Erastus Mwongera said the job was 30 per cent done. He blamed al Shabaab militants for the slow pace

Mwongera, who was speaking when he inspected various projects in Lamu yesterday, said his board was satisfied with the progress. The contractors were however urged to speed up. 

The authority is also responsible for the 10km highway component of the Lapsset project, necessary complementary infrastructure for cargo offtake from the new Lamu Port. 

The Lamu port access road is worth Sh2.3 billion and is being done by Railway N.10 Engineering Group Company Limited. 

Mwongera said there was a need to speed up the road works for there to be acceptable infrastructure by the time Lapsset kicks off. 

“The contractors now have adequate security unlike before. The roads should be ready by 2020. We know it’s later than the initial plan but then again, there are compelling reasons for that. We are talking security issues,” he said. 

 

The government has previously denied reports the Lamu-Garsen Road was being delayed by lack of finances. 

Mwongera said the government was also in the process of upgrading the Lamu-Garissa-Isiolo-Lokichar road to bitumen standards

He said the Lokichar-Nakodok section is under construction, while the section between Isiolo and Moyale is already tarmacked.

“Such projects will enhance regional integration, trade and improve the general socio-economic prospects of the Coast, northern Kenya, East Africa, Africa and the world,” Mwongera said.

(Edited by R.Wamochie)